Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – More than Learning

Name: Ashley Tung
From: Walnut, CA
Grade: Sophomore
School: Walnut High School
Votes: 0

The
saying goes, “In teaching others, we teach ourselves.” I had
always believed high school would be a journey where students had to
fend for themselves, as the competition for grades and
extracurriculars could leave teenagers overwhelmed. Tutoring became a
humbling experience for me since I learned that high school was not
such a cruel place and that students were willing to seek my help. I
no longer saw myself as a competitor, but a teacher to them. Grades
and extracurriculars didn’t matter in that library; the only thing
that mattered was the fact that I was helping someone who desired my
help.

I
aimed to relieve the feelings of anxiety high-schoolers are all too
familiar with. I wanted the “After-school tutoring available”
sign outside the library door to be a source of hope for the
students. I strived to achieve the “lightbulb moment” in
students, when they suddenly say “Aha!” or “Oh, I get it now!”


Tutoring
at first was a means to prove to myself that I understood the
material well enough to teach it. The most difficult part of this
experience was that I had to put more effort into my studies to
ensure some other student this week, or the week after, would
understand the subject as well as I do. I must be able to simplify
the material enough for them to understand and be ready to explain
why a formula is written this way, what a certain Chinese character
means in different contexts, or how the actions of a historical
figure impacted the wider world. Not only am I to aid the student in
understanding the material, I must ensure the material stays with
them, as a teacher would.

I
have spent a total of 40 hours tutoring my fellow classmates and I
believe I have made school a better place for the students I tutored.
As a teacher would, I guide students to think no subject is
impossible to master. Those students in turn can teach their
classmates what I have helped them understand, and so on and so
forth. School will become an easier place for all students, once we
understand there are others willing to help, especially just within
the library doors.


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